Monthly Archives: August 2003


I've been seeing a Saturn commercial that leaves me blinking. I think there's a subversive at the ad company.

The ad begins with a soothing piano solo, and we see a man jogging out of his garage, backing on to the road, and jogging off forward, as if he were maneuvering his car.

Next come a number of scenarios where we see only people--no cars--on streets and highways. They are spaced as if they were driving...showing us just how much room cars take up. The soothing music continues, as if to say how calm life would be without automobiles.

Finally, the pitch comes. Three silver Saturn models overlook what I believe is Los Angeles at dusk--horrible smog layer and all.

Thank you, Saturn, for making my point so eloquently.

Bill slept peacefully against my shoulder as I fidgeted (mentally) in the waiting area. When the nurse came out to gather my paperwork, she chuckled and said: "Let me guess who the patient is!" I grinned and said she'd be wrong, because it was me.

When the time came, we were led back to a conference room, five sleepy people and a perky nurse practitioner, to watch a 17-minute video and listen to people talk about Sleep Apnea. By the end of the video, the woman next to me was out cold.

Apnea is when you stop breathing when you are asleep--just for a few seconds, but many times a night. By morning, you're not exactly awake and refreshed. I was there to get a little education before being scheduled for a sleep study, where I will be wired up and watched for a night of ~peaceful~ slumber.

Before being introduced to the intimidating (but really quite benign) CPAP machine, we were told delightful tales of surgical horror. Let's see...there's one where they move your entire jaw forward, the TRACHEOTOMY (*shudder*), and finally the one where they cut out your uvula and lots of other stuff! By the time Nurse Nancy was done, I was thinking the CPAP looked quite fashionable. We got to try one, and it's extremely quiet, fairly comfy, and really no big deal.

So in about two weeks, I'm off to show my jammies to strangers. Fear my jammies, you sleep technicians!

There is a dandy new place for geeks to hang out: Backspace, on NW 5th Avenue just past Couch. A great place for insomniacs, it's open 11am - 12am Sunday through Thursday, and until 4am on Friday and Saturday.

Bill and I wandered down for a game of pool, but the tables were full, so we spent the time taking in some great art on the walls, and checking out the vintage video: Joust, Centipede, Ms. Pac-Man, Tron, and a couple others I can't remember. There are also several tables full of sweet gaming PCs.

The bottom line: the place feels comfy. Chris is a nice guy who understands geeks. It's just a few blocks away from home for us, so it will no doubt be a regular haunt.

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He'd intended to go to bed. It was late, and he was bone weary with the night's journey. Yet there he was, ensnared yet again--lured to the chair by the cat who now enjoyed his lap and his attentions. "I think she has you," I whispered to him, "you must throw her in the fires of Mount Doom."


We defied convention last night by staying out late on a Monday. I finally convinced Bill, who is a Tolkien fiend of the highest order and had hitherto refused to sully his personal imaginings with those of Peter Jackson, to watch my DVD of The Fellowship of the Ring. About the time Gandalf is considering the path through the Mines of Moria, Bill mutters: "I kind of wish we had the other one now." So have the other one we did, in the form of a late showing at the Avalon.

The Avalon is a great bet for cheap fun. Tickets for the 9:15pm showing were $2 a pop. While we waited, we spent another $2 in nickels at the arcade--the skee-ball type of arcade, not the video kind. Before getting our seats, we bought a bottle of water, for $1.25. Don't these people know they're supposed to charge at least $3.50?

Considering all this, we shouldn't have been surprised to see the little theatre (with comfy seats) mostly full. When Jackson got it right, there would be gleeful wriggling to my left. Wrong, and I'd hear little stomps and see a pout in the darkness. We had a great time.

Small aside: the India Oven on Hawthorne is so very good, and also very reasonably priced. I think we've found a regular outing.